The Other N-Word: Rabbis Unamused

Jewish clergy offended by increasing use of the word Nazi to bash opponents.

ByABC News
January 27, 2011, 3:37 PM

Jan. 27, 2011— -- A full-page advertisement by 400 rabbis in today's Wall Street Journal has put a spotlight on a trend many people see as alarming: the use of the word Nazi to bash opponents in public discourse.

There are now Gym Nazis and Grammar Nazis. Members of the La Leche League have even been blasted as Breastfeeding Nazis.

The TV comedy "Seinfeld" may have opened the floodgates with its legendary episode about the Soup Nazi.

But the use of the other N-word has become especially pronounced in political debate; most recently last week, when Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., compared Republican rhetoric in the health-care debate to Nazi propaganda.

In their advertisement, the 400 rabbis single out Fox News host Glenn Beck and Fox News chief Roger Ailes for using Nazi and other Holocaust references in slamming adversaries.

The rabbis are demanding that Ailes apologize and that Fox owner Rupert Murdoch sanction Beck.

"In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated," the rabbis write in their advertisement, published in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal and the Forward, a Jewish newspaper.

"But you diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any organization or individual you disagree with."

Ailes landed in hot water last fall for calling National Public Radio executives Nazis for firing Juan Williams, who also was working as a commentator for Fox News.

Beck has been under attack for three days of programs attacking liberal billionaire and Holocaust survivor George Soros.

Beck described Soros as a "Jewish boy helping send Jews to the death camps."

Soros has spoken about posing as a member of a Christian family to escape the Holocaust and accompanying his surrogate dad, whose job involved confiscating property from Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary.

The ad bashing Beck and Ailes was backed by a coalition of U.S. rabbinical organizations and timed to coincide with today's Holocaust Remembrance Day. It was paid for by Jewish Funds for Justice, an organization that has received funding from Soros.